Crossville Fire Chief Chris South issued a statement this morning regarding a reverse emergency call sent out by the 911 Communications Center.
It was regarding a military projectile found by a resident at 26 Vaughn Street in Crossville late yesterday while he was cleaning out a shed on his property.
The report from the Crossville Police Department later identified it as a “bazooka rocket.”
After notifying and sending a picture to the Knox County Bomb Squad of what they were dealing with, it was determined to refer the matter to EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) team at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. They came to Crossville last night and took x-rays of the weapon and deemed it was armed with explosives but not fully. It was a training projectile from back from World War II up to the Vietnam to Korean War period.
Crossville fire decided then to use Hyperlink with the 911 center to notify residents on Vaugh Street and within a 300’ radius of the home (15 to 20 homes and apartments). It was a preemptive notification they may have to displace while the EOD team moved the explosive.
That is when something went wrong at the 911 center in sending out the notification. Instead of the 300’ radius, it went out county wide.
“It was unfortunate that it scared many citizens,” said Chief South. “The program is a very valuable tool to the county in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. We had hundreds of calls overnight and into this morning regarding it. We take this error seriously and will work with the 911 Center to make sure this does not happen again.”
The Crossville Fire Department apologizes for any inconvenience it cause and they continue to work diligently for the citizens of the city.
If anyone has comments or questions about the reverse 911 call, they are asked to call the Crossville-Cumberland County 911 Center.
Officials there at the center say a glitch in their computer system that handles the transmission of the alerts was responsible. They will work with the software company to correct the issue.
(comments on the issue from Crossville Fire Chief Chris South)